Google introduced the Dark Mode option in Chrome last year, bringing the much wanted feature to websites whether they support it natively or not. It’s available on most platforms, including Android, iOS, Mac and Windows 10, but only works if you choose the native dark theme on your phone or PC. Thankflly, even if you don’t want the dark theme across all your apps, you can still darken websites while surfing using the best dark mode extensions for Google Chrome in Windows 10.
Best Dark Mode Extensions for Google Chrome in 2021
Here, we’ll show you how to get a full dark mode on Chrome even without switching on the Dark Theme option in your computer. For that, we’ll use some of the best dark mode extensions on the Chrome web store. We’ll also show you how to turn on the native dark mode option hidden within Google Chrome and tell you about the best dark themes you can use to dress up your browser in Gothic finery. So without further delay, let’s check out the 10 best dark mode extensions for Google Chrome you should use in 2021.
1. Just Black
Just Black is not an extension, but a theme, which gives your entire browser a dark look, including the New Tab page, the top bar and more. It comes from the official Chrome team, which means it’s stable, reliable and without any bloat. This is the one to install if you want a no-nonsense dark theme on your Google Chrome. However, since it darkens the entire browser from head to toe, you may find it a bit overwhelming if you still want to retain a dash of color in your browser. It also doesn’t offer some of the more enhanced customization options offered by third-party themes.
2. Dark Reader
Dark Reader is probably the most-used and best-known dark mode extension on both Chrome and Firefox. In fact, it is the one that I have used for long on Firefox, and it works impeccably on about 99% of the sites. It inverts bright colors on website, making them high contrast and easy to read at night. You can adjust brightness, contrast, sepia filter, dark mode, font settings and ignore-list. The best part? It is free and open-source software (FOSS) that doesn’t show ads and doesn’t collect user data.
3. Night Eye
Unlike Dark Reader, Night Eye enables dark mode using its proprietary algorithm, instead of inverting the colors. In addition to simply enabling dark mode, it also gives you a plethora of options to control the built-in dark themes on sites that have it. For example, you can control the built-in dark themes of YouTube, Reddit, Twitch, 9gag, DuckDuckGo and many others. For all other websites that don’t have built-in dark mode, Night Eye will convert the colors for a smooth and consistent dark theme.
4. Dark Theme for Google Chrome
Like Just Black Dark Theme for Google Chrome is also a theme rather than an extension. It offers a simple, yet effective way to bring darkness to Google Chrome for enhanced productivity. It uses a background color that’s only 80% black instead of the dark black background on offer from Just Black. The developers say that the dark grey color makes it very convenient for reading during night without eye strain. It comes from the same developer that offers the next extension on our list.
5. Turn off the Lights
Offered by the same developer that brought you Dark Theme for Google Chrome, ‘Turn off the Lights’ is different from the other extensions and themes in this list. It’s meant for video-streaming sites, and focuses on the currently playing video while dimming the rest of the content to offer users a theatrical experience. You can use the dimming feature by clicking on a ‘lamp’ button that works as a toggle. Turn off the lights works for almost all known video sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Hulu, Metacafe, YouKu, etc. It can be used in conjunction with other dark mode extensions and themes as well.
6. Midnight Lizard
Like Dark Reader, Midnight Lizard is also an open-source project hosted on Github. However, it differentiates itself from others by offering not only a single dark theme, but a number of pre-defined and customizable greyscale and colorful color schemes. It is one of the best dark mode extensions for Google Chrome if you want granular controls for everything. You can set the same theme for all websites or different colors for different sites. It also lets you adjust the brightness, saturation, contrast and hues to improve readability. There’s also a blue light filter similar to smartphones, as well as the ability to change any particular color, configure background, text, buttons, links, borders, images and scrollbars.
7. Lunar Reader
Lunar Reader is yet another high-quality Chrome extension with a 4.7 rating on the Chrome web store. In addition to offering the standard dark theme for every website, it also allows to you customize your dark theme visual for brightness, contrast and saturation. There’s also a ‘Night Shift’ mode that can be auto-activated based on the time of day. Lunar Reader filters out the blue light and changes the website’s background color to warmer, making them much more soothing on the eye. It also supports keyboard shortcuts to quickly activate or deactivate the dark theme and night shift options.
8. Dark Night Mode
Dark Night Mode is another free and open source dark mode extension that does exactly what is promises. It uses what the developer claims is a ‘unique algorithm’ to apply dark mode to all the websites in real-time as you browse. It does so by detecting the color of each element of a website and converting it to a darker shade. Bright colors are darkened at more intensity than dark colors so that most of the colors are preserved. Unlike other similar extensions, Dark Night Mode does not invert the colors, so black websites will not change their color into white. An added benefit is that the images will also not be distorted.
9. Super Dark Mode
With more than 100,000 users, Super Dark Mode is a super popular dark mode extension for Google Chrome. It not only darkens websites to help relax your eyes, it also comes with a number of notable features, including automatic scheduling, site-based enabling/disabling, customized color schemes, options to reduce brightness/contrast and custom CSS. You can also add patterns of your choice to the dark backgrounds, making it one of the more unique and best dark mode extensions for Google Chrome.
10. Dark Mode
Last but definitely not the least, is the simplistically-named ‘Dark Mode’ that enables you to apply a global dark theme to websites. Like most of the other ones on our list, this extension also comes with a toolbar button that lets you easily and quickly turn the extension ON or OFF. In addition to the default dark mode, it also comes with over 50 different themes that can be enabled from the options page. There’s also a white-list feature which enables you to exclude a desired domain from dark mode. All in all, Dark Mode is right up there with the best dark mode extensions on Google Chrome.
How to Enable the ‘Hidden’ Dark Mode in Google Chrome
Google Chrome already contains a native dark mode, but it cannot be implemented from settings unlike most options. So here’s how you can turn on the native dark mode on Google Chrome in Windows PCs.
- Open Chrome and type (or copy+paste) “chrome://flags” in the address bar and press ‘Enter’.
- Now search for ‘dark mode’ in the flag search bar and find “Force Dark Mode for Web Contents”. Now, choose ‘Enabled’ from the drop-down menu, as seen below.
The Chrome flag trick works not only on Windows, but also on Android, Mac and Linux, so you can use this method to implement dark mode natively on Google Chrome on your computer or smartphone, irrespective of your operating system.
Use Dark Mode on Google Chrome For a Great Browsing Experience
So now you know how to implement full dark mode on Google Chrome via extensions, themes and flags. While all of them have their own uses and their own ways of doing things, they all get the job done. Some of the extensions mentioned here also offer more granular controls than others, which is something that advanced users will surely appreciate. So go ahead, try them out and let us know which one worked best for you.